Progesterone only / Mini pill

desomono

What the packet says

What is it?

Hormonal ingredients

What's it made of?

Alpha-tocopherol, maize starch, povidone, stearic acid, hypromellose, macrogol 400, titanium dioxide (E 171), lactose monohydrate

How it works

The Progesterone only pill (POP) / mini pill (Desomomo) is a small tablet you swallow daily that (unlike the combined pill) only contains one hormone – progesterone. It prevents pregnancy by making the fluid in your cervix thicker (which makes it more difficult for sperm to enter the womb), and preventing the lining of your womb thickening enough for an embryo to grow in it. The progestogen only pills with desogestrel in them (so all of them except Micronor, Noriday and Norgeston) can also stop ovulation.

Frequency

  • During intercourse
  • Daily
  • Monthly
  • 1 - 3 Months
  • 1 - 3 Years
  • 3 - 5 Years
  • Permanent
  • Clinical effectiveness

    99

    %

    Contains hormones

    Yes

    Want advice?

    Speak to one of our doctors about your concerns

    What you said

    Side effects

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    After effects

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    Detailed information

    How to get started with the mini pill

    • Your doctor or nurse will do some tests to make sure that you can take the progesterone only pill. They check your medical history, make sure that you’re not pregnant and take your blood pressure.
    • Most women can start the pill at any time in their period cycle. However unless you start the mini pill on the first day of your period, you won’t be protected from pregnancy straight away. Make sure you read the packet carefully and use condoms or other methods until you’re covered.
    • There are special instructions for starting a contraceptive pill if you have just had a baby, abortion or miscarriage.
    • There are normally 28 pills in a pack, and unlike the combined pill you don’t have a break between packs.
    • It’s really important you reliably take the progestogen pill at the same time every day (more important than with the combined pill). There are two different types of progestogen only pill:
      • Three hour traditional progestogen-only pills must be taken within three hours of the same time every day
      • Twelve hour desogestrel progestogen-only pills must be taken within twelve hours of the same time every day.
    • If it helps, keep your pill packet somewhere you use or look at everyday (like your makeup bag) to remind you to take it, or set an alarm on your phone.
    • You will normally be given a prescription for the pill for a couple of months, and will need to go back to your doctor for regular check ups (e.g. blood pressure tests).

    Coming off the mini pill

    • Coming off the pill is easy – you just stop taking it. As soon as you stop taking it, you’re no longer protected from pregnancy.
    • If you have periods, you may prefer to wait until you reach the end of your current pill packet before stopping, so you can keep your cycle more regular.
    • Check out our survey results to see how long it took most women’s cycles to return to their definition of ‘normal’, and read up about after effects they’ve experienced.

    Things that can go wrong

    • Missing or forgetting to take a mini pill has happened to all of us. Check out the NHS guide on what to do, depending on how many you’ve missed and where you are in your cycle. If you’re in any doubt, make sure you use a condom or don’t have sex until you’re protected.
    • There are a few things that can stop the pill from working properly – make sure you watch out for these and check your pill information leaflet or speak to your doctor if you have any questions:
      • Vomiting and diarrhea will impact on how the pill is absorbed into your body. If you’re sick within two hours of taking the pill you’ll need to take another pill straight away and the next pill at the usual time. If you’re sick or have severe diarrhea for longer than this, check your pill packet for what to do next – and use condoms or abstain if you have any doubts.
      • Some medicines and antibiotics (like rifampicin and rifabutin, St John’s wort and anti-epilepsy drugs) change the way your body digests the pill.
    • With any combined type of hormonal contraception there is a slightly increased risk of developing blood clots in your veins and arteries.We are developing a full guide to the medical research on the serious and potentially life threatening side effects of contraceptives here.

    Reviews

    1/5
    26/09/2020
    Progesterone only / Mini pill
    Almost 6 weeks in and I have had 3 periods already. Very heavy and last for weeks. Can easily use one super plus tampo...
    2/5
    16/07/2020
    Progesterone only / Mini pill
    My pharmacist switched me from Cerelle to this pill. I now have terrible spots all over my forehead and get painful head...
    2/5
    13/07/2020
    Progesterone only / Mini pill
    Switched from Cerazette to Desomono and went from having no periods at all and no spots, no sore breasts to irregular pe...
    2/5
    19/06/2020
    Progesterone only / Mini pill
    I never used to get headaches and now i do. My periods are just as painful with added headache symptom. But I do feel I...
    1/5
    23/05/2020
    Progesterone only / Mini pill
    I had been on contraception for 10 years, my first was the implant and that was brilliant until the second one, then it ...
    2/5
    31/01/2020
    Progesterone only / Mini pill
    I lost all motivation for everything and I felt it heightened my anxiety and depression. It felt like there was a sheet ...